Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee


Product Details

Kent State University Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 1.0 X 9.1 inches | 1.05 pounds
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About the Author

Ann Marie Ackermann is a former attorney with focuses on criminal and medical law. Eighteen years ago she moved to Bönnigheim, Germany, the town in which the assassination occurred, and is a member of its historical society. Ackermann's intimate knowledge of the town and of the German language enabled her to bring the German and American sides of this story together. She has a number of academic publications in law, ornithology, and history.


"An Edgar-worthy true crime masterpiece of astonishing investigative skill and irresistible narrative flow. I know the term "must read" is overused, but I'm going to use it again -- Ann Marie Ackermann's new book is a must read!"

--Burl Barer, NYT-best-selling author of Murder in the Family and Man Overboard
"A page-turner of historical scholarship, Death of an Assassin takes a little known German cold case murder from 1835 and turns it into an intriguing mystery. Using a style reminiscent of Case Closed, author Ann Marie Ackermann puts you in Bonnigheim when the assassin pulls the trigger and later Mexico, where the fleeing assassin engulfs Robert E. Lee in tragedy, long before Lee ever heard the canon near Appomattox Court House."--Fred Rosen, author of Murdering the President: Alexander Graham Bell and the Race to Save James Garfield
"Death of an Assassin is not only a startling historical discovery but a poignant tale of heroism and redemption. With a marvelous eye for detail, Ann Marie Ackermann has navigated through long-forgotten records on both sides of the Atlantic to unearth a new and complex kind of hero -- a brutish, vengeful man who, perhaps out of remorse, was anxious to start a new life and redeem himself in his adopted home. It's a great story, bolstered by solid research and told by one who is uniquely qualified to bring it to the public."--Michael W. Kauffman, author of American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies
"Ann Marie Ackermann has marvelously weaved a story of diverse themes into a single fabric of historical research and investigation. Written in a conversational style and drawing the reader into the web of mystery produces a story of high interest and adventure."--Anthony Waskie, assistant professor, Temple University, author of Philadelphia and the Civil War
In her excellent work, Death of an Assassin, Ann Marie Ackermann has penned a fascinating account of a long-ago murder; a murder that should have remained tucked away somewhere in the dark archived files of history, never again to see the light of day. Thankfully for us, however, the author has not only rescued this strange tale from obscurity, but has brought to light a story that begins with the murder in Germany, and ends up in the pre-Civil War America of Robert E. Lee, where the killer begins an eventful new life. With a sharp eye for detail, Ackermann painstakingly reconstructs the lives of the participants from long-hidden facts, and then, having breathed life back into them, paints a vivid literary picture throughout the pages of her riveting book. It's a tale that will pull you in from the very first page.--Kevin M. Sullivan, author of The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History and Custers Road to Disaster: The Path to Little Bighorn
"Death of an Assassin by Ann Marie Ackermann is a well plotted and researched book of crime, war, and intrigue. The pages are filled with historical facts as well as reenactments of events as they are thought to have occurred. The solving of one of the oldest cold cases in history and the link to the USA's past is fascinating."--The Cozy Review
"Death of an Assassin recounts one of the most curious tales in history: a murder committed in Germany but solved in America years later."--Glenn Dallas, San Francisco Book Review
"Death of Assassin is an entertaining look at very human characters in a world on the edge of radical change."--Robert Davis, New York Journal of Books
"An engaging piece of history."--Tim Gebhart, Progressive on the Prairie
"Death of an Assassin is a great, fun read, spinning intrigue with historical facts. Ackermann is an excellent writer, who knows how to spin a good tale, and this resulting monograph is the proof."--Ryan Quint, Emerging Civil War
"It takes a true crime historian to track down such an obscure incident and grasp its significance. It takes a true storyteller to convey it with skillfully drawn suspense."--Dr. Katherine Ramsland, Psychology Today